In this series, Velma Rosai-Makhandia explores the ritualistic majesty of the African mask


Velma Rosai-Makhandia, also known as Velma Rossa, and half of 2manysiblings, here debuts one of her on-going personal bodies of work. The Soul is a Silent Song sees the Kenyan visual artist and style curator explore abstract ways of depicting the meanings behind African masks. Through mirrors, glass, oblique camera angles and the mask itself, the face of the wearer is obscured, leaving the viewer with a sense of the mysterious boundaries between human and object.

“I have always been fascinated by the visceral palpability of the African mask - its ritualistic energy, otherness and the evocation of questions pertaining to fetish and sex, as well as qualities of anonymity, unease, power and mysticism,” she explains. “I am creating an interlocking narrative between the mask and the wearer, contrasting it with both the aesthetics and implications of the subject. It is about having a deep awareness of the sensory feeling and spirit of the person wearing it that goes beyond the judgements of the physical realm.”

Read Nataal’s interview with 2manysiblings here

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Published on 30/10/2018